Arizona State Preview: Fear the Fork
Arizona State comes into today’s game ranked as the 21st team in the country and seem to have the inside track to represent the South division in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game. After having a bye week to get healthy the Sun Devils look to stay undefeated against the Buffs after beating CU in the previous two meetings.
They have a favorable match-up today as the battered Buffs come staggering into Sun Devil stadium having lost five straight and still boasting the ugly 22 game road losing streak. Last week they got picked on by the Oregon Ducks, losing 45-2 as well as losing starting quarterback Tyler Hansen to a concussion in the 2nd quarter.
Meanwhile, Arizona State is led by 6’8″ quarterback Brock Osweiler who has thrown for just under 2,000 yards and 15 TD’s on the season. He likes to spread the ball around and not just focus on one receiver which will be difficult for the Buffs since they can’t focus on a single receiver. CU’s secondary is depleted and they just continue to be tested by some of the best quarterbacks in the country. It will not be an easy go for CU today.
If Hansen is unable to go, which is likely, backup Nick Hirschman will take over under center. Hirschman came in during the second half last week against Oregon and went 8-18 for 81 yards. Hirschman will not have too much to work with as star running back Rodney Stewart continues to sit out with a sprained knee and leading receiver Paul Richardson is also out with a knee injury. Richardson had a chance to come back this week but it looks like he won’t be available until the USC game next week.
If Jon Embree wants to win his first road game as CU’s coach he is going to have to rely heavily on Tony Jones. Jones has done a nice job filling in for Stewart in the last two games rushing for 187 yards and 2 TD’s. Keys to a road victory are not turning the ball over and establishing a run game. If the Buffs want to pull the upset against the Sun Devils those are two battles that they will have to win.
With the combination of ASU coming off a bye week and all of the injuries that CU is dealing with, it’s hard to think that the Buffs have a chance.
Prediction- Arizona State- 34 Colorado-7